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NEWS LITE : CARTOONIST'S MOM DENIES SHE'S MARGE.

Margaret Groening, mother of ``The Simpsons'' creator Matt Groening, wants the world to know she's no Marge Simpson.

Everyone Groening meets presumes she is a living version of the long-suffering cartoon mother with towering blue hair and a heart of gold. Even old friends slip and call her ``Marge.''

``It's really weird to have people think you're a cartoon,'' said Groening, who lives in Portland, Ore.

The woman who gave birth to the celebrity cartoonist needs no pen and ink alter-ego to celebrate Mother's Day.

She wants people to know her family is nothing like the dysfunctional TV family, but comparisons are inevitable since her son named some of the cartoon characters after his parents and sisters.

Matt Groening ``just helped himself to all these names,'' she said, referring to her late husband Homer and daughters Lisa and Maggie.

Matt has another sister named Patty, the name chosen for one of Marge Simpson's sisters, and a brother named Mark, but there is no Bart Groening.

Unlike couch potato Homer Simpson, her husband was a hard-working father ``and very much a gentleman,'' Groening said.

And the insensitive TV dad's overwhelming passion for doughnuts comes more from her son than her husband, Groening said.

``I'll bet he did like doughnuts, but Matt likes doughnuts, that's his thing,'' she said. ``He and the writers like to sit around and eat jelly doughnuts.''

Despite her own loss of identity, Groening confessed to having a certain fondness for good-hearted Marge Simpson, betraying their similar shared character traits.

``She certainly means well, and she wants everyone to be happy,'' Groening said. ``She's the mediator in the family, I suppose.''

Wasn't that the role she played in real life too?

``Oh yes,'' she said. ``Oh yes.''

Good mothers are essentially the same, even the make-believe ones.

``I think honestly, for the most part, mothers just want their kids to be happy, to have a happy life, whatever that takes,'' Groening said.

Bob Hope's wife in nightclub gig

For Bob and Dolores Hope, it's 1933 all over again.

That was when Manhattan nightclub singer Dolores Reade won the heart of a young comedian in the audience. Her weekend return to the New York finds Bob Hope still in the audience - now her husband of 63 years.

``I'm going to do the song I was singing when I first met Bob - `Paper Moon,' '' Dolores Hope, 87, said Saturday in anticipation.

She and Rosemary Clooney began a two-week engagement Sunday at Rainbow and Stars, the chic midtown nightclub adjacent to the Rainbow Room restaurant.

In 1933, Bob Hope, now 93, caught her act at the Vogue Club on 57th Street. They were married the next year.

Dolores Hope gave up her career after the marriage but never quit singing. She recorded her first album in 1993. Three more followed, including the latest, ``That's Love.''

Mr. Rogers quests for meaning of life

Fred Rogers said a childhood filled with sadness and ridicule propelled him into a lifelong search for meaning and purpose.

Although 8 million youthful TV viewers see ``Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood,'' each week, the inspirational nice guy, who is also an ordained Presbyterian minister, lives by the simple motto hanging on his office wall: ``What is essential is invisible to the eye.''

Speaking to graduates Saturday at the Memphis, Tenn., Theological Seminary, Rogers said, ``I find those words to be truer for me everyday.''

Rogers thanked family members, teachers, librarians ``and all those saints who helped a fat, shy kid to see more clearly what is really essential.''

Rap artist Chuck D joins TV news team

Rapper Chuck D is jumping down from behind the microphone to take a seat in the TV studio and do the news.

The socially conscious hip-hop star from the group Public Enemy has signed on with Fox News Channel to supply on-air commentaries and occasional news reports, Fox said Sunday.

Chuck D, whose rap hits include ``Don't Believe the Hype'' and ``Fight the Power,'' wants to provide a fresh perspective on issues like education and welfare to attract younger viewers.

Mad man Aragones cartoonist of year

Sergio Aragones, whose tiny cartoons have lined the margins of Mad magazine for more than 30 years, was named 1996 cartoonist of the year.

Aragones beat out ``Dilbert'' creator Scott Adams and Patrick McDonnell of King Features Syndicate for the National Cartoonists Society's top honor Saturday in Asheville, N.C.

McDonnell, who writes the ``Mutts'' strip, was honored with the newspaper comic strips division award.

CAPTION(S):

2 Photos

PHOTO (1) Kicking off Cannes

Linn Ullman, left, receives a special ``Palm of Palms'' award on behalf of her father, Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France. Presenting the award is her mother, actress Liv Ullman. The world's biggest celebration of the cinema is celebrating its 50th year on the French Riviera. A record $6.5 million is being spent to hold the 12-day festival.

Associated Press

(2) Hope
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 12, 1997
Words:826
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